As many of you know, the Council of Ontario Universities recently petitioned the Provincial government for “greater flexibility for capacity limits and physical distancing to help ensure a safe reopening for expanded in-person learning.” We are aware that many of you are concerned about this request and the uncertainty related to the King’s return to campus plan. We hear you and share your concerns. As the Delta variant causes an increase in cases and hospitalizations in Ontario, we are deeply concerned that King’s and Western remain steadfast in their expectation that thousands of students, staff, and faculty will fully return to campus next week. KUCFA therefore supports UWOFA’s call on Western to ensure safe working conditions and calls on King’s administration to take several steps to ensure the health and safety of the entire community. Specifically, we call on King’s to:
- Commit to adhering to all public health measures under Step 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan, which mandate indoor capacity and physical distance limitations.
- Acknowledge that the Council of Ontario Universities request for exemption for universities from Step 3 restrictions would, without ensuring the complete implementation of vaccination policies, remove public health protections and erode the safety of students, staff, and faculty.
- Delay all in-person learning for courses that cannot comply with Step 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan until October 12th, 2021, when King’s vaccine mandate comes into full effect.
- Develop measures to ensure that only those in compliance with King’s COVID-19 vaccination policy are permitted on campus and inside buildings, as detailed in King’s vaccination policy.
- Be clear and transparent about the mechanisms put in place to ensure the validity of vaccination documentation provided under the COVID-19 vaccination policy.
- Provide clear details to the community about King’s campus’ ventilation systems have been improved to ensure safety of all on campus as well as how King’s mask mandate will be enforced over the coming months.
We understand that you are worried and frustrated about being required to teach in 100% capacity classrooms, which exceed the Province’s Step 3 public health limits. KUCFA will continue to advocate for your interests and, more specifically, for a clear and transparent plan for a safe return to campus for all members of the King’s community.